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The Heatherley School of Fine Art, 75 Lots Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0RN  |  phone 020 7351 4190

Support and Donate

As a registered educational charity, independent of the support of direct government funding or private sponsorship, we finance the academic provision of our courses by charging fees to our students.

Although our fees are competitive, every year there are many talented students (often the younger ones) who cannot afford them. We strive to give as many bursaries as possible, but there is so much more we can do to keep our doors open to anyone with the talent and drive to join us. If you are passionate about giving an excellent art education to talented artists in need of a bursary, please donate here.

We promise to put your donation to work straight away and to keep you updated on the progress of our bursary students.

Current Fundraising Priorities

Founded in 1845, Heatherley School of Fine Art is one of Britain’s oldest independent art schools. From its earliest days it has promoted equality of access and was the first school to allow women to draw in the life room on the same footing as men.
Many years later, as an educational charity, we still endeavour to offer fair and equal access to our courses. Our current fundraising priority is to fund more bursaries for our Diploma students, and we actively promote bursaries to potential recipients so that they are aware that they can be helped.

Thanks to our incredibly generous supporters, we have been able to increase the level of assistance we can make available year on year. Currently the Bursary Fund provides some £50,000 per annum towards fees for some students of the Diplomas in Portraiture and in Sculpture. At the present rate of expenditure the existing fund needs to be added to by ongoing and substantial increments to ensure that we can continue to offer financial assistance to promising young artists who could not otherwise afford to attend the School.

Our current community of supporters include the Cheyne Walk Trust, World’s End Studios and many individuals and fellow artists. If you would like to help us to offer fair and equal access to our courses, please donate here.

Impact of Donations

A relatively small amount of money, in the form of a bursary for a talented artist, can go a long way and even change lives in some cases. The impact of a donation is best described by the students’ own words, so we will add to this page more students stories on a regular basis. The first student to share with us how the Bursary Fund has allowed her to flourish as an artist is Bernadett Timko.

“I was at art school in Hungary for 4 years. At 17 I left home and when I turned 18 I decided to leave everything and make my own way. When I came to England, I was a nanny, and did all sorts of jobs to pay the rent. I didn’t do much art – sometimes I drew in the evening or on the train. I used to live in a warehouse with lots of parties and musicians, and one day this French guy who was on the painting diploma told me about Heatherley’s.

I wanted to get back to an art school environment. Modelling was really liberating – it helped me to be more confident. It feels so natural and part of the process.”

A scholarship student at the school inspired Berni to apply for the painting diploma. When she discovered that the school had a scholarship programme  she decided to apply since without support for the fees, it would have been an impossibility. She assembled a portfolio in record time and was accepted onto the course.

“The school is really friendly, we just talk about the project we’re involved with, what other people are up to. Everybody knows everybody. Being in an art school, you have to be better than yourself. I compare myself to who I was yesterday. Not to somebody else. I know I’m completely different from somebody else. So why would I compare myself to someone else?”

Berni has completed the 2 year Portraiture Diploma and is mid-way through the Sculpture Diploma. In her short time at Heatherley’s she has already won prestigious prizes, including 2015 – Winsor & Newton Young Artist Award, First Prize; 2015 – Phillys Roberts Award ROI; 2016 – Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Young Artist Award; 2017 Prince of Wales Prize for Portrait Drawing, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, and sold several works through the Mall Galleries and privately.

Heatherley’s focus on the figurative and observation from life is at one with Berni’s practice. She says:

“I never had to question it. It’s like breathing. What I really like is to see is real humans in art, I really feel I’m in that painting, with that person; I know their thoughts, their feelings. I like the silence in the paintings. It’s really loud sometimes, and that’s magical.”

Berni’s own paintings and sculptures articulate these moments of silence:

“I just like to look at people. Sometimes more than actually talking to them because when people are just sitting, holding a silence, they’re just really honest. It’s something really special, I think.”

Feeling inspired by Bernadett’s words? If you want to be part of the story of how our Bursary Fund enables students like Bernadett to access our courses, please consider making a donation towards our Bursary Fund.

Corporate partnerships

At Heatherley’s we aim to build imaginative, long-lasting relationships with corporate partners.

We invite you to work with us and discuss your CSR objectives. We can provide opportunities for your employees and stakeholders to become directly involved with our school community, be it team-building days for your employees, or through events, talks and other initiatives tailored to a company’s individual needs.

Recently we partnered with World’s End Studios – a contemporary business centre in Lots Road. The Studios’ policy is to reach-out to, and support, the local community, and have chosen to sponsor a generous Cash Prize for our annual competition, for which we are very grateful.

Your support for our Bursary Programme which enables Heatherley’s to offer support to promising young artists who could not otherwise afford to attend the School is –  quite literally –  life-changing.

Do contact Anna on 0207 351 4190. We look forward to meeting you and exchanging ideas as to how we can help you achieve your CSR and community partnership goals.

The Heatherley’s Team

Trusts and Foundations

We appreciate every single gift, no matter how big or small. We seek to establish long-lasting relationships with each trust donor because we understand that behind any charitable grant there are individuals who share our passion and commitment to give fair and equal access to our courses.

As a valued supporter we will thank you for your support by:

  • Providing you with regular updates and tailored progress reports;
  • Inviting you to events, private views, talks and exhibitions;
  • Inviting you to special events specifically designed for our closest supporters to meet with our senior staff, President, Patrons and Trustees.

Please feel free to contact Anna on 0207 351 4190 to discuss how we could work together to achieve our shared objective of supporting promising young artists who could not otherwise afford to attend the School.

The Thomas Heatherley Educational Trust

The Thomas Heatherley Educational Trust (Charity no. 312872) was set up in 1974 to provide a benefit to the public by advancing education in the Fine Arts. Over 40 years later we continue to achieve our charitable aims. Through our educational ethos and outreach activities we have been able to make a contribution as a cultural resource for the wider community and we continue to seek new opportunities to further this aim in the future.

The privilege of charitable status has allowed the school to benefit from financial relief in the form of tax concessions and in turn we endeavour to pass on these advantages to our students.

The modern educational landscape has greatly altered in recent years as students in higher education now take on the financial burden of tuition fees and maintenance costs.

Our courses are funded by a fees structure realistically based on running costs with any surplus generated being returned to enhance the benefit and service provided by the school. We are committed to the provision of bursaries so that we able to help students who, though talented, may otherwise be unable to afford the fees.

We continuously seek innovative and creative ways to achieve this ambition and we actively raise funds to increase the level of assistance available year on year.

If you want to join us and help us to offer more bursaries every year, please donate here.

The John Walton Heatherley Student Support Fund 

This is an independent charitable body working with the Heatherley School Academic Board having the exclusive purpose of providing direct financial aid to students already obtaining a full bursary but for whom this is insufficient to enable them to undertake a course of full-time study.

The John Walton Heatherley Student Support Fund HMRC charities reg EW02439

John Walton Heatherley Student Support Fund
To find out more and – we hope – to make a donation, please download and complete the donation form.

Patrons and Trustees

Nicola Hicks MBE

Sir Christopher Howes KCVO CB
Lord Robin Janvrin GCB GCVO QSO PC
Sir Alan Parker CBE
Lady Anya Sainsbury CBE

Sophie Balhetchet
Stephen Bartley
Jane Gordon Clark
Robin Hazlewood RI
Dr Penny Hunting
Harry MacAuslan
Richard Sharp
Andrew Thompson
Col David Waddell (Chairman)
Raymond Wilson

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